$98,000 in new grants awarded to 11 organizations serving Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills
College interns helping local land trusts mark trails and preserves. High school students clearing invasive plants and creating rain gardens to prevent storm water pollution. Teens removing litter and debris from the Naugatuck River. These are among the projects funded through Connecticut Community Foundation’s newest grants—totaling $98,000—awarded to 11 nonprofit organizations working to conserve, preserve and protect the environment in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills.
Of the many grantees engaging young people, Julie Loughran, president and CEO of Connecticut Community Foundation, said, “The fields, forests, woodlands, waterways and wildlife in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills are among our region’s greatest assets. They are awe-inspiring and they directly contribute to the health and well-being of local residents. We applaud the Foundation’s newest grantees for their foresight in activating and training the next generation of environmental stewards. Our communities will be better for their efforts.”
The Foundation’s environment grantmaking supports the conservation and preservation of natural resources in the region and increases environmental awareness for residents of all ages. Priority is given to projects which encourage meaningful new collaborations and create lasting change.
The new grant awards are:
- Audubon Center Bent of the River was awarded $9,969 to enable local high school students to learn forestry skills and methods, and to learn and practice forest and riverside habitat monitoring techniques.
- Connecticut Land Conservation Council received a $16,000 grant to foster collaboration among several western Connecticut land trusts and other conservation partners.
- Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust was awarded $7,500 to improve its environmental education curriculum and related programs for students in grades 3-5 and to enhance partnerships with area school systems.
- Housatonic Valley Association received a $7,500 grant for the replacement of a roadstream crossing structure in the town of Washington, Connecticut, and for the creation of preliminary designs for a new, longer-lasting culvert that would improve wildlife access to upstream pathways and serve as a regional demonstration project.
- The Lake Waramaug Task Force was awarded $5,000 to map all of the catch basins and corresponding outfalls around Lake Waramaug and to better understand, evaluate and address polluted storm water runoff into the lake. Collected data will be shared with the Connecticut lake management community so they can also create cleaner, more sustainable water resources.
- Mattatuck Unitarian Universalist Society received a $5,000 grant to for its moderated, public speaker series featuring scientists and environmentalists focused on climate change and related environmental issues.
- Northwest Conservation District was awarded $10,441 to work with town land use agencies and citizens in Bethlehem and Watertown to help promote and adopt sustainable development practices and to design and build a low-impact development demonstration project and signage in each town.
- The Police Activity League (PAL) of Waterbury received a $10,000 grant to support Waterbury-area youth, known as PAL’s River Brigade, in their efforts to clean up the Naugatuck River.
- Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition received a $10,090 grant to continue funding for its Youth Conservation Corps. Made up of teams of high schools students, the Corps works on local projects (such as creating rain gardens) that have a direct impact on polluted runoff abatement and pollution prevention.
- Tyler Lake Protective Association received a $1,500 grant to train volunteers to collect data on water quality and collect inlet samples. Monitoring by trained volunteers helps lower the cost of lake management.
- Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust received $15,000 to fund two college interns in their work address the land stewardship needs of Weantinoge, Bethlehem, Litchfield and Warren Land Trusts.
Top photo: Youth who participated in the inaugural 2018 Police Activity League (PAL) of Waterbury’s River Brigade learned about environmental stewardship while helping to remove litter and debris from the Naugatuck River. The Foundation’s grant will help fund the 2019 River Brigade. Photo by Kevin Zak courtesy of PAL of Waterbury.